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Board of Trustees


Dan Guss


Dan is a semi-retired Water and Wastewater Engineer. He has spent his entire life studying, designing and installing water treatment systems. Dan has been married to his wife Gail Addison Guss for 49 years and they have three grown children. Having grown up in the State College area, Dan graduated from State College High, and is an engineering graduate of Penn State, and holds an MBA from the University of Massachusetts. Dan is proud to be the son of a Penn State Extension Veterinarian and grandson of a Central PA Dairy farmer. Dan has a passion for clean water and believes that the vital foundation of clean water and a clean environment is stewardship of the land.


Jennifer Shuey


Jennifer's conservation experience comes from serving as the Executive Director of ClearWater Conservancy of Central Pennsylvania for nearly fifteen years.  She also currently serves on the Board of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and is a Trustee of The Hamer Foundation. She is also a member of the Farmland Preservation Artists of Central Pennsylvania, which was formed in 2005 to promote the preservation and appreciation of farmland through the visual arts. A portion of the proceeds from any FPA group exhibition and sale supports Centre County Farmland Trust. As an artist, Jennifer specializes in pastel landscapes.  Jennifer's day job is Director of Development for the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts.  Her degree is in Landscape Architecture from Penn State.


Nancy VanLandingham

Vice President

Nancy VanLandingham moved to Centre County in 1977 to attend grad school at Penn State and earned her Master’s and most of her PhD (All But Dissertation) in Geography. She wrote her thesis on property rights and land use law and worked in private consulting for counties and municipalities in the field of economic development. 


She and her husband bought an 1840s farmhouse with 10 acres of land in Halfmoon Township and raised our children Sarah and David there. In 1998, she began helping a friend in her real estate business and that has developed into a 23-year career (so far!) at RE/MAX Centre Realty. 

Nancy served on the Halfmoon Township Planning Commission for six years and is very interested in the development pressures rural communities face. Boards and municipalities can’t halt development if the market forces are there, but they can channel and control it for the greater public good. 


Two of the best things about Centre County are the vibrancy of a college town and the authenticity and beauty of the surrounding rural landscape. Nancy believes in doing what we can to preserve and enhance both.


Linda Friend


Linda is recently retired after over 35 years at Penn State. She has been a resident of Penns Valley for over 40 years. Linda is also a shift leader and foster for PAWS and an AAUW board member. She has direct farming experience with sheep and beef cattle and is committed to conservation best practices and to farmland preservation.

Derek Canova


Derek is a Realtor and Past President (2012) of the Centre County Association of Realtors.  He grew up in Penns Valley and has strong affinity for the area of Centre County and its agricultural heritage.

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Bob Potter


Bob Potter is a 50-year resident of Centre County and a 40-year resident of Boalsburg. Following a career in public relations, he served as Executive Director of the Centre County Community Foundation.  Along the way Bob has been involved in many community organizations, including serving as president of the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, chair of the Centre County United Way campaign, and President of the Boalsburg Village Conservancy.  For  his community service Bob was named PSU Renaissance Person for 2005.

Larry Hutchinson


Larry is a retired professor of Veterinary Science at Penn State University.  Penn State and Cornell provided the educational background for a career as a practicing large animal veterinarian and later as an extension educator at PSU.  He has a long-standing interest and concern about agriculture and the environment.  Larry loves the outdoors and enjoys hiking, canoeing and horseback riding.


Catherine F. Smith


Catherine F. Smith lives near Spring Mills on property surveyed by William Maclay

for the Penn family in 1766, settled in 1775, and farmed for more than two

centuries. She and John Smith manage their 68-acre farm, called ChicoryLane

( for ecology, diversity, habitat protection,

waterway protection, and aesthetic appreciation as guided by goals set in a

conservation easement held ClearWater Conservancy. 

Catherine is a retired Professor Emerita of English in Professional Communication, University of North Carolina-East Carolina. She formerly taught on the English faculties of Bucknell and Syracuse Universities. She serves on the Pennsylvania Conservation Association (PVCA) board of directors and on the steering committee of the Pennsylvania Forest Stewards (PAFS) at the Center for Private Forests-Penn State. 

Catherine’s particular

interests are the interactions among land, land use, architecture, and history.

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Martha Grout Taylor

Liaison to the Farmland Preservation Artists of Central Pennsylvania

Martha is a member of the Farmland Preservation Artists of Central Pennsylvania, a group that partners with the Centre County Farmland Trust, and is a liaison between the two organizations.  She grew up in the State College area and is a graduate of State College High and Penn State, with a B.S. in Biology.  She is retired from laboratory work in toxicology.  Martha’s father was a Penn State Extension Agricultural Engineer, and both sets of grandparents were farmers.  She values both the aesthetic and the economic value of farmland to our community.

Franklin Egan 


Franklin Egan is a soil scientist and climate strategist. Franklin, a Boalsburg resident, worked with the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture for several years before co-founding RegenAll, a non-profit to help local businesses and governments work through climate action planning. 


Egan worked a few years ago with the Centre Region Council of Governments on a local climate action plan for State College and surrounding communities. He was energized by that process and “jumped at the chance” to serve on the CCFT Board of Trustees.


Farmland preservation is an enormous lever from the perspective of local climate planning, he says.

"Well-managed farmland can sequester carbon dioxide in healthy soils and can also help landscapes be more resilient in the face of the extreme temperatures and precipitation that climate change will bring to our region,” says Egan. 


“By constraining suburban sprawl, preserved farmland can push communities to make better choices about housing and transportation. Over time, encouraging smaller, more dense homes and shorter commutes and daily travel will have an enormous effect on greenhouse gas pollution and climate change."

David Litke


David Litke, helicopter pilot and owner of Polarblast sand-blasting company, donated a conservation easement on 55 acres of farmland off Blanchard Street in Bellefonte.

Litke served in the U.S. Air Force in Vietnam as an air evacuation medic. He built his own helicopter from a kit and obtained his pilot’s license. He is concerned about farmers having access to land suitable for farming and wants to see his fields continued to be farmed, rather than be developed into houses or apartment buildings.

Read more about the Litke conservation easement.




Lisa Duchene

Communications and Events Consultant, contracted

Lisa owns Polished Oak Communications in central Pa. She is a writer with much experience covering topics in science, natural resource management and the food business. Through Polished Oak, Lisa provides communications services including strategy, content development, event planning, media relations, and social media services. She is an essayist & blogger in love with Pennsylvania's countryside — and especially smitten with barns.



Our Partners


The Farmland Preservation Artists of Central Pennsylvania

The Farmland Preservation Artists of Central Pennsylvania formed in late 2005 to promote the preservation and appreciation of farmland through the visual arts. 

The Farmland Preservation Artists regularly participate in gallery shows. To find out where you can view and purchase their work, visit their website or Facebook page.

The Farmland Preservation Artists maintain a permanent gallery at The Field Restaurant in State College, PA.

Appalachian Food Works

As Central Pennsylvania's food hub, AFW aggregates and distributes fresh, locally raised and grown food to the people who live closest to it. ​


Happy Valley Adventure Bureau

The bureau's mission is to develop, promote, and engage in travel related activities and coordinate visitor services designed to enhance the economic activity and quality of life within Centre County, Pennsylvania. The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau is the official destination marketing organization (DMO) for Centre County, Pennsylvania. 

On Facebook: @HappyValleyAdventureBureau

On Instagram: @happyvalleypa

Happy Valley Agventures

Happy Valley Agventures is a joint effort by the Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County and the Happy Valley Adventure Bureau designed to invite visitors from around the county and across the region to come and share in this rich history and enjoy what we grow, what we craft and what we create. A chance to meet our people, get to know our heritage, hear our stories and return to the roots of our region.



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